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GLAAD levels the playing field
Journalist tapped to lead new sports department

by Wanda Pico . Contributing Writer
NEW YORK, N.Y. — The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) has hired Ted Rybka to serve as the organization’s first-ever Director of Sports Media. In his new role, Rybka will work to ensure that the stories of LGBT athletes, coaches and sports reporters are covered by sports media.

Ted Rybka has years of experience covering gay culture and sports.
The move is an effort to combat anti-gay prejudice in amateur and professional athletics.

“Throughout its history, GLAAD has worked visibly and behind-the-scenes in the world of entertainment and other cultural spheres to ensure fair, accurate and inclusive representations of people and events,” said GLAAD Senior Director of Media Programs Rashad Robinson.

“The influence of sports on American culture and the importance of gay visibility in this arena cannot be underestimated. With the launch of our Sports Media program and Ted’s appointment, GLAAD is better equipped to effect cultural change by bringing visibility to the commonalities that athletes and fans share, regardless of orientation. Changing the hearts and minds of sports enthusiasts across America promotes equality at a level laws can’t always reach.”

“Homophobia in sports is too often viewed as acceptable, and in some circumstances even encouraged,” said Rybka. “GLAAD’s creation of this first-of-its-kind program shows its willingness to tackle tough issues. I’m excited to be a part of this important mission and look forward to breaking new ground in the world of sports.”

Rybka brings to his new job years of experience covering gay culture and sports. Most recently, he served as editor-in-chief of Sports Out Loud, a magazine dedicated to covering LGBT sports and athletes. Prior to that he was associate editor of Echo magazine, Arizona’s oldest and most widely read LGBT publication. He also spent time with WestStar Talk Radio as associate editor for “The Kim Komando Show,” a nationally-ranked top 10 radio show.

He holds two degrees from Arizona State University, a master’s degree in mass media and a bachelor of arts in Russian as well as a concentration in German. He served in the U.S. Army for four years as a Russian voice interceptor. Rybka is also a sports enthusiast and plays rugby, tennis and bowling.

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